The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Rules 1996 have been amended in December last year. The amended rules enable a simplified and decentralized procedure for issue of disability certificate. Disability certificate can now be issued by a single doctor in respect of obvious disabilities at the level Primary Health Centre (PHCs)/Government Medical Practitioner, Community Health Centres and Hospitals at the Sub-Divisional level. In case of non obvious disabilities, certificate can be issued by a specialist. Only in case of multiple disability, a Medical Board is required. Further, Medical Certificate is to be issued as far as possible within 7 days from the date of application but in any case not later than one month.
State Governments have also been requested to make similar amendments in their PwD Rules and notify their medical authorities accordingly.
A Committee consisting of representatives of various stake holders, experts in disabilities etc. has been set up in April this year to study the suggestions received from State Governments, concerned Central Ministries and several other sources on the proposed amendments to the PwD Act, 1995 and to prepare a new draft Legislation aligning it with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.